Guidance for Writing Postcards

Thank you for your interest in writing a “Postcard” about your local government engagement experience! One of the things we’ve learned through our outreach to engineers and scientists who wish to become more involved with their local government is that the first step can be the hardest. Where do you begin looking for more information and avenues for participation? What is it really like to attend a City Council meeting or read through a State budget? By sharing your experience, you will help demystify approaching local government for other engineers and scientists. You will also help them understand what to expect when coming from our shared approach to the world through science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).


The purpose of these Postcards, or short blog posts, is to share your experience of engaging in a new way with your local government to help other scientists and engineers know what to expect.


The general audience for these posts will be professionals with backgrounds in STEM-fields. The language should be broadly accessible.


Postcards should be short (~400 words) and written in question-and-answer format. Please write about your experience even if the engagement was not directly STEM-related. This perspective is especially valuable, as local engagement on STEM-related issues often involves forging relationships and common cause with groups outside the STEM community.

Ideas for Activities

Check out our Local Engagement Playbook for engagement activity ideas.

Submitting your Postcard

Please send your draft to In your email, please include a photo of yourself and a suggested banner image for your post, including photo credits. If you are on LinkedIn or Twitter, please send us your profile page and handle so that we can tag you in our social media promotion of your postcard.

Things to Consider

If you are recounting a personal conversation or other meeting not in public record, make sure those who you mention or quote are aware of your postcard and comfortable with what you share.

Submit a Postcard Today!

Name, location, profession, STEM background
e.g. Evidence-based policy, climate change, etc.
e.g. “I had coffee with my mayor. I found her email address on the city website, invited her to meet, and worked with her staff to set up the meeting.”
e.g. “Meeting was called to order. Public comments were open for 20 minutes, etc.”
This may include: What did you learn? What surprised you? How did it make you feel? Will it have any influence on your work or your future engagement with your community? Did it relate to STEM topics in a direct or indirect way?
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